Ebola panic has hit Southern California. A student’s excuse for missing class sparked a massive Ebola scare and the quarantine of 20 people amid fear the deadly virus had spread from an infected nurse on a commercial flight.
The quarantine ended shortly after it began and the school reopened.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Student Said She Had Some Contact With Amber Vinson
There were initial erroneous reports that the female student and her family were on the same flight as Ebola patient Amber Vinson.
The school tweeted from it’s official account that the student “recanted” her story.
Amber Vinson was diagnosed with Ebola on October 14, she’s being treated at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. It emerged that on October 8, Vinson had flown from her home in Dallas to Cleveland and then back again on October 13.
Southwestern College spokeswoman Lillian Leopold told The San Diego Union Tribune, “This student was not anywhere near West Africa. She recently traveled, but within the United States.”
After learning that the student had been to the Midwest after which her sister had been hospitalized, and out of an abundance of caution, the decision was taken to cordon off areas where the student had been. The statement was headlined “NO EBOLA ON SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE CAMPUS.”
2. Around 20 Students Were Quarantined
The San Diego Union Tribune reports that a specific area of the college was closed off by authorities for a couple of hours.
The college paper, The Sun, reports that classes in those buildings were canceled. The only cordoned off area was the 470 building in the school. Classes went on as normal in the rest of the college.
According to Fox San Diego, 20 of those students are being held in quarantine. During this time, the student who had traveled to the Midwest was examined by a school nurse and it was determined that there was no immediate threat.
3. Students Briefly Panicked on Social Media
Students have been posting about the scare on Twitter.
Another student posted this picture from within the quarantine:
4. We Have No Updates on the Sick Patient
The female student’s sister, was said to have been hospitalized. We don’t know at this time if that part of the story was also recanted.
5. This Was Another False Alarm
Since Thomas Eric Duncan’s diagnosis and death from Ebola on October 8 in Dallas, Texas, there have been spate of Ebola scares across the U.S. The San Diego scare comes on the same day that a Yale student who had been to West Africa began exhibiting symptoms.